Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy
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The safety and effectiveness of natural products is understudied in spite of their rising popularity. In addition to being
a source of drugs of abuse, natural products have been attributed with palliative/curative properties (i.e., Ibogaine).
However, their efficacy and safety are scarcely known. Herbal marijuana alternatives are readily available in spite of their
psychoactive potential. We have examined the effects of Kratom (
, a possible ingredient in some incense)
on seizure latency (pentylenetetrazole), on anxiety (open field) and on social interaction (shoaling) in the zebrafish (D. rerio).
Kratom has potent proconvulsant effects and interferes with social interaction. Anxiety, however, is not affected. We have
identified a similar pharmacological profile in a sample of one of the commercially available incenses. We have not identified
the components of these samples; however zebrafish may prove useful as a screening tool for possible psychoactive products
Jos GOrtiz completed PhD from the University of Connecticut and Postdoctoral studies from Yale University. He has received several awards and honors. In addition of being an engaged in Pharmacology teaching and research, he has been very active in promoting Neuroscience in Latin America and the Caribbean
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